Mainstream Media Taking Aim at the Elderly
Sunday, 20 January 2013 14:15 By Staff, Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting | Report
The outcome of the “fiscal cliff” did not impress many in the corporate media, who have long favored some sort of Simpson-Bowles “grand bargain” that would pair tax increases with spending cuts to so-called “entitlement programs.” The last-minute tax deal fell well short on both counts–but the failure to cut benefits seemed to bother more pundits than anything else.
On Meet the Press (12/30/12), NBC’s Tom Brokaw complained that Obama “could help himself a lot if he were tougher on the AARP”–by which he meant tougher on seniors, raising the retirement age for Social Security (which is really a cut in benefits–Extra!, 12/12) and “means-testing” Medicare. (When the discussion was taxes, Brokaw insisted that “$250,000 doesn’t make you rich,” but proposals to means-test Medicare assume that elderly retirees with incomes as low as $85,000 aren’t paying enough for healthcare–FireDogLake, 12/14/12.)
Brokaw went on:
I think it would have been helpful to him this morning to have said, “Look, we get this tax deal done, I’m here to help on Medicare and Social Security reforms.” We’ve got to address those, instead of just saying, “I’m going to protect the seniors who are there and the Medicare and Medicaid recipients.” Give a little something. Show good faith about what needs to be done on deficit reduction and the entitlement programs.